|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:1-7 The prophet bemoans himself that he lived among a people ripening apace for ruin, in which many good persons would suffer. Men had no comfort, no satisfaction in their own families or in their nearest relations. Contempt and violation of domestic duties are a sad symptom of universal corruption. Those are never likely to come to good who are undutiful to their parents. The prophet saw no safety or comfort but in looking to the Lord, and waiting on God his salvation. When under trials, we should look continually to our Divine Redeemer, that we may have strength and grace to trust in him, and to be examples to those around us.
Verse 2. - This verse explains the preceding comparison; the grape and the early fig represent the righteous man. The good man; LXX., εὐσεβής, the godly, pious man. The Hebrew word (khasidh) implies one who exercises love to others, who is merciful, loving, and righteous. Is perished out of the earth; has disappeared from the world (comp. Psalm 14:2, 3; and especially Isaiah 57:1). They all lie in wait for blood. They all practise violence and rapine, and meditate how they may pursue their evil designs, even to the shedding of blood. LXX., πάντες εἰς αϊματα δικάζονται, which narrows the charge to one special kind of iniquity, vie. committing judicial murders. They hunt every man his brother with a net. They ought to love their brethren, their fellow countrymen, partakers of the same hope and privileges (Leviticus 19:18). Instead of this, they pursue them as the fowler traps birds, or the hunter beasts. The word rendered "net" (cherem) is in most versions translated "destruction." Thus, Septuagint, ἐκθλίβουσιν ἐκθλιβῇ: Vulgate, ad mortem venatur; so the Syriac and Chaldee. In the present connection it is best taken as "net" (Habakkuk 1:15).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The good man is perished out of the earth,.... Here the prophet expresses in plain words what he had before delivered in figurative terms. The "good" or "godly" man, as in Psalm 12:1; is one that has received the grace of God, and blessings of grace from him, and lives a godly life and conversation; who has the good work of grace begun in him and is found in the performance of good works, and does his duty both to God and man from godly principles; and particularly is kind and merciful to the poor and needy, and those in distress. The complaint is, that there were few, or scarce any, of this character in the earth, in the land of Israel, where there used to be great numbers of them, but now they were all dead and gone; for this is to be understood, not of the perishing of their graces or comforts, much less of their perishing in their sins, or perishing eternally, but of their corporeal death:
and there is none upright among men; that are upright in heart and life; that have right spirits renewed in them, are Israelites indeed, in whom there is no guile; and walk uprightly, according to the rule of the divine word, truly honest, faithful men; very few such were to be found, scarce any; see Psalm 12:1;
they all lie in wait for blood; for the substance, wealth, and riches of men, which is as their blood and life; is their livelihood, that on which they live; this they wait for an opportunity to get from them, and, when it offers, greedily seize it; and stick not even to shed blood, and take away life, for the sake of gain:
they hunt every man his brother with a net; as men lay nets for fish, and fowl, and beasts, and hunt them till they have got them into them; so these men laid snares, not for strangers only, but for their own brethren, to entangle them in, and cheat and defraud them of their substance; and this they would do, even to the destruction of them, as some (s) render it; for the word also signifies "anathema", destruction, as well as a "net". So the Targum.
"betray or deliver his brother to destruction.''
(s) "ad necem", Tigurine version; "anathema, caedes", Drusius; "ad occasuinem", ibid.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. The Hebrew expresses "one merciful and good in relation to man," rather than to God.
is perished out of the earth—(Ps 12:1).
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